Northern Cape is actually the largest as well as the least populated province in South Africa. Created in 1994 when the erstwhile Cape Province was divided into three provinces. The other two provinces include Eastern Cape and Western Cape. The capital of Northern Cape Province is Kimberley. Northern Cape owes its existence to some extent to the Northern Cape and Adjoining Areas Regional Development Association that was formed in the 1940’s when the term “Northern Cape” featured for the very first time on a map.
The specific geographic spread to which Northern Cape applied to wasn’t fixed before 1994. However, since that year there have been adjustments to its boundary to include some parts of the area that used to be known as Bophuthatswana. Politically since 1994, this province has been dominated by the ANC, (African National Congress), party. The four languages recognized in the region include Afrikaans, English, Tswana, and Xhosa.
Geography of the Area
There is an enormous distance between towns in this province due to the sparse population in the area. Northern Cape is a bit larger in size than Germany and a bit smaller than Montana in the United States. All this makes the area in question a suitable place for anyone who prefers a secluded habitation. In addition, the Karoo Basin dominates in this area. This primarily consists of sedimentary rocks as well as some Dolerite intrusions.
Northern Cape’s pre-colonial history is seen in its rich archaeological heritage. Cave sites present include one near Kuruman, Wonderwerk Cave. There are also a number of rock art sites in this South African province. Most of them are like rock engravings such as what exists at Wildebeest Kuil. These are present on slopes, hilltops, rock outcrops, and more. Namaqualand copper mines plus the rush of diamonds in Kimberley have resulted in industrial archaeological landscapes being created in these areas. This served as a forerunner to the modern era of South Africa’s history.
Every archaeological trace in Northern Cape, which is more than a hundred years old, is subsequently protected by an act. This act is called The South African Heritage Resources Act. Archeology present in Richtersveld constitutes part of what is recognized as a World Heritage Site regarding the listing of this area. Also, ǀXam and ǂKhomani heartland and Wonderwerk Cave, which are both found in this province, are included on South Africa’s Tentative List for World Heritage inscription.
This province is a lovely place for anyone who loves adventure to reside in. Check out rugged mountains, undulating dunes, and endless flatlands that make up part of this place. The trails in this area will challenge and inspire the adventurer. There is a lot of open space to view that is devoid of any human presence since the area can be said to be underpopulated. This makes it possible for visitors to experience nature in its barest form possible.
Another place in this province that can be said to be a tourist attraction is the beautiful Vaalharts Valley. It is a one hour drive from the north of Kimberley. It is surrounded by lush, green farmlands making this area a sight to behold. There are two large rivers, the Harts and the Vaal, which feed an elaborate irrigation scheme in the Northern Cape area. This is supported by more than a thousand high yield agricultural farms.
Lastly under this section, the Big Hole and Kimberley Mine Museum, this is a man-made structure. It is a place that has recently been given a face-lift. This once ago flat topped hill was created through human effort. It is the largest excavation dug by hand, which makes it something everyone in South Africa and indeed the rest of the world should see. Some of the features it presents to visitors include a fifteen minute introductory film, display of archive material, among others making a living in this province a plus.
Cultural Experiences – Legends of the Area
One thing residents of the Northern Cape should be proud of is the number of great people that the province has produced in the years gone by in spite of its small population. Living in the same area where these people lived and getting more familiar with their stories can inspire anyone to move at least a step closer to achieving greatness.
One example of a great person who lived in Kimberley is Cecil John Rhodes. Who by the time he was thirty-eight years of age had become Cape Colony’s Prime Minister. Another is Sol Plaatje, the first South African black to have a novel published in English.
So if you love to live in a quiet place with beautiful locations to visit all year round, then Northern Cape should be on your list of places to consider when moving. The opportunity to live life on the peaceful side of the country beckons today.